Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges yesterday and made a public apology. Vick said he used "bad judgment and made bad decisions," and vowed to redeem himself. He will be sentenced in December, and could spend time in prison.
Vick has only begun to pay for his sins, said Mark Maske in The Washington Post (free registration). The Falcons want to recover a sizeable chunk of the $37 million in bonuses they have paid Vick under his 10-year, $130 million contract. And the NFL has suspended him indefinitely, without pay.
Vick's "sweeping" mea culpa isn't good enough, said The Chicago Tribune in an editorial. When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell asked him about the dogfighting charges Vick lied, and told him he loved dogs. Vick could get 1 to 5 years in prison, but the big question is when he'll be allowed to return to professional football. "How about never?"
There may be hope for Vick, yet, said Mark Bradley in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It was a sobering spectacle, seeing this worker of athletic wonders admit to being a criminal." For that, you have to give him man credit. In that courtroom, he was no hero. He was "a humbled man trying not to cry but in no way trying to duck."